Europe is our past and present, and it is our conviction that it is also our future.
Not only are we bound by a common European culture and history – and therefore form a common European people –, but we increasingly face challenges that none of us, as European nations, can solve separately. Our ability to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for ourselves and coming generations depends on our ability to come together.
EuropeanConstitution.eu was founded on the belief that a common constitution was a cornerstone element for the realisation of a united Europe, founded on stable and lasting ground.
In 2001, the Laeken Declaration empowered a group of experts with the drafting of a constitutional treaty for the consideration of Member States. In 2005, the resulting Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was ratified by 18 Member-States, but its rejection by referendum in France and the Netherlands marked its termination.
We are convinced that both the content and format of this constitutional treaty led to its downfall. With its four hundred and forty-eight articles, not only did it give everyone something to disagree with, but it tried too hard to set in stone all of the EU’s complexity. Simply put, it was unreadable.
In order to move away from such a poor example, we decided to propose our own version of what a true European constitution might look like. It was our firm belief that constitutions could – and absolutely should – be simple and understandable. The result was a clear, seven-article-long constitution aimed at supporting a citizens’ discussion on the adoption of a European constitution.
We later created this website, with the goal of presenting the Constitution to the general public in clear and simple terms. And then a Twitter account to publicise our ideas. At this point, we decided to give this initiative a proper legal framework.
The association’s work
EuropeanConstitution.eu was established as a non-profit association dedicated to promoting the adoption of a European constitution, European federalism as an organising principle for our institutions, and European integration in general.
The first pillars of our work are carried out by our continued work on the European constitution, which remains a living and evolving document. We also consider several other projects, including a revision of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure and of the EU’s statute on European political parties. All of these projects are linked to the creation and strengthening of a true European democracy.
Overall, our work is applied research on institutional and constitutional affairs. This means that our research work focuses on providing concrete deliverables that citizens and decision-makers can use, discuss and draw inspiration from. For instance, working on European constitutional affairs, instead of writing research articles on constitutional theory, we created a short, clear and usable draft constitution for the EU; through this, we aim not only at paving the way to solutions but also at showing what these solutions might look like.
The Jean Monnet Prize for European Integration
In order to carry out its last pillar − the promotion of European integration −, EuropeanConstitution.eu set up the Jean Monnet Prize for European Integration, as a way to reward concrete projects contributing to European integration.
The Prize is an annual endeavour and was first awarded in 2018. It aims at honouring Jean Monnet’s life and dedication to European integration by recognising projects that support this ideal in a concrete and apolitical manner for European citizens. Where other prizes may reward public figures of high standing, we focus on activities that can impact the day-to-day life of Europeans, as well as on citizens’ personal engagement for Europe. Our Prize is a small-scale initiative and we are proud of this grassroots aspect.
In addition, we also regularly carry out advocacy activities in favour of European federalism and a more integrated Europe.
From our work on the European constitution, we have retained one core lesson that we strive to implement in all our activities: make Europe understandable and tangible for citizens. Institutions can be complex, but they can also be explained in simple terms.
This is therefore our mission: help people understand Europe and give them the tools to discuss it.
In order to support our research and advocacy, consider donating to EuropeanConstitution.eu.